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Posts Tagged ‘chorizo’

Super Food Nerds: Make Your Own Chorizo

About 10 months ago, I moved to a taco-free neighborhood. Not only does this mean no already-made tacos, it means no tortillas, no chorizo, nothing. I’ve been feeling pretty deprived, so I decided to take matters into my own hands — today, chorizo; tomorrow, the world. There are two kinds of chorizo: the Spanish-style stuff, which is dried and smoked and can be eaten as is, and the Mexican kind, which is fresh and needs cooking. I decided to tackle the Mexican variety.

I started with pork shoulder, as it’s a flavorful cut of meat that benefits from the grinding process (which softens its too-chewy texture), and added fatback to make it even juicier. (If you can’t find fatback, belly works too, or even bacon, though it’ll add a smoky note.) For seasoning, I decided to go pretty classic with achiote paste, cumin, chiles, Mexican oregano and garlic, along with salt and sugar for balance.

One of the keys to making delicious, juicy sausage (of any kind) is to make sure everything remains super cold throughout. If the meat warms up too much, its fat will melt, leaving you with crumbly, dry meat. Freezing the meat before you grind it also makes the grinder’s job easier, so you’ll end up with evenly ground meat. So toss the meat in the spices and pop it in the freezer. (Use this time to think about how good the eventual tacos will be.)

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25 Ways to Use Chorizo

Chorizo Fundido

Beery Chorizo Queso Fundido

Just as the hot dog is an American classic, chorizo is a traditional favorite in Spain, Portugal and Mexico. And just as hot dog styles (red hots versus NYC-style versus all-beef versus pork-beef combo versus skinless — you see my point) vary throughout the country, the ingredients in chorizo vary depending on the part of the world you’re in.

The staple ingredients of this dry-cured (read: ready-to-eat) sausage in Spain are pork, garlic and paprika. Chorizo in La Rioja, in the north of Spain, contains both sweet and hot paprika, while chorizo in Andalusia, in the south of Spain, contains black pepper, cloves and dry white wine along with the standard ingredients.

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Tips for Easy Entertaining from Chef Michelle Bernstein

Michelle Bernstein

Want to make sure your 4th of July bash goes off without a hitch? Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein, who knows a thing or two about cooking for a crowd, has four tips to make entertaining easier.

Michelle Bernstein’s Tips for Easy Entertaining:

  • Make dishes that sit well. “I want to hang out, too,” she says. “Make things in a thoughtful way beforehand, and then prepare fully the day of.” For instance, if you’re putting together a Greek salad, chop all of the cucumbers, tomatoes and seasonings the night before.
  • Let your kids join in on the fun. Give them prepared tasks like setting up the table so they feel like part of the action, too.
  • Use the freshest ingredients possible, especially for the finishing touch. If you prepare the salad a day or two ahead, add a pop of flavor with fresh cilantro and citrus. “It will taste like you made it that day,” Michelle says.
  • Taste everything before you serve it. Seriously, this one is a must. Get approval from yourself for each dish.

Michelle’s last tip? Mix up your menu.

“I like to change things up and play in the kitchen,” she says.

So skip the burgers this year and bring in some Latin flavors with Michelle’s recipe for chorizo tacos:

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Hot New Season: Chuck’s Day Off + Tasty Food People

Chuck Hughes, Chuck's Day Off -- CookingChannelTV.com

Chuck Hughes rebounds after the demise of the Montreal Expos with a new season

Hey Sports Fans! The long wait is over and a brand new season is upon us…  Actually, not baseball but a fresh new season of Chuck’s Day Off with hot new recipes you are going to crave…

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TV Dinner: Tomato and Chorizo Salad

Tomato and chorizo salad - Bill Granger, Bill's Holiday

Tomato and Chorizo Salad - Bill Granger, Bill's Holiday

Need a light dinner idea that beats the heat and the clock?  Watch Bill Granger make his hearty Tomato and Chorizo Salad at 12:30pm ET today and then make it yourself for dinner…

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